Kurt Yaeger, Chet Cooper, Ashley Fiolek and China Press are DRLC Honorees

Chet Cooper, Ni Lin and Wei Mengxin holdig a framed award
Chet Cooper, Ni Lin and Wei Mengxin

Usually when we hear about China, the stories focus on factories and goods, jobs shipped overseas and other news items that make the country sound uninviting. But when ABILITY Magazine’s Chet Cooper traveled to Beijing to meet some of his counterparts in publishing, he found himself forming lasting friendships.

During that time, ABILITY Magazine and China Press for People with Disabilities (CP)—including their sister publication Spring Breeze, announced their intention to exchange editorial content that would be published in both China and the US. And over the months, they followed through with their editorial exchange, including articles on autism, art therapy, rare diseases, and teaching with a disability. The stories have been of a human interest nature—exploring common experiences, as well as the differences, that people with health conditions and disabilities face in both countries.

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Recently, Ni Lin, publisher of CP, and Wei Mengxin, China’s United Nations delegate, and several of their colleagues who had hosted Cooper in Beijing, paid ABILITY Magazine a visit. They spent several days in Southern California, meeting some of the ABILITY team, watching the surfers from the Huntington Pier, seeing highlights of Los Angeles and enjoying an evening at the annual Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC) gala.

As a special portion of the gala, Ni and the delegation presented a beautiful framed carving to DRLC Executive Director Paula Pearlman, for allowing the CP and ABILITY Magazine to promote an up coming art exchange project. Eight of the art pieces were unveiled during the event. More than 80 pieces will be part of the coming exhibition.

The gala, also known as the Franklin D. Roosevelt dinner, is dedicated to America’s 32nd president. FDR had polio and—behind the scenes—got around the White House in a wheelchair. This year, the FDR dinner noted positive portrayals of disability in distinguished network television programming. Kurt Yaeger a co-star of Sons of Anarchy hosted.

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Also on the bill for the evening were the Sundance cable network stars—and our past cover subjects—The Push Girls, who navigate the world in wheelchairs, along with Ashley Fiolek, our longtime columnist.  The DRLC’s mission is to champion the rights of people with disabilities through education, advocacy and litigation, while ABILITY Magazine, along with its Chinese counterparts, seeks to provide new insights and awareness into our individual levels of ability.

Kurt Yaeger, Paula Pearlman, Chet Cooper and Ashley Fiolek, DRLC Honorees
Kurt Yaeger, Paula Pearlman, Chet Cooper and Ashley Fiolek, DRLC Honorees

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